interesting little well-tank engine was built to a standard John Fowler
& Co design, examples of this type finding use around the world in
agriculture, mining, industry, and construction. This example worked at the
Rocky Point Mill, Woongoolba, located near Beenleigh, south of Brisbane
and before the
Gold Coast – and is hence its moniker the ‘Rocky Point Fowler’.
little Fowler loco has moved around a few times during its preservation
career, but never too far from its home at Rocky Point Mill. It was displayed
at Gilltraps Auto Museum at Kirra on the Gold Coast during the 1970's
(together with Hunslet b/n 1078 ‘Maroochy’), where photos show it was
painted in garish all-over yellow. The Gilltraps Auto Museum reduced its
collection in 1981 prior to relocating to Dreamworld, finally closing in
1987 at which stage the remaining collection of historic cars and other
exhibits were dispersed to new homes. Among these changes the Rocky Point
Fowler also moved to Dreamworld, Coomera, being cosmetically restored and
statically displayed alongside the 2’ gauge tourist railway that winds
through the amusement park’s gardens and theme rides. (The webmaster
recalls his first encounter with this little loco during a 1994 visit to Dreamworld
with a group of friends. I first presumed the little locos was a mock-up among
the other theme items encountered along the lineside, but a second glance revealed
it was too accurate to be a model – and on closer inspection I was
surprised to see the loco was real! Alas I didn’t have a camera with me at
the time, I was too busy enjoying the rides!)
2000 or 2001 the Rocky Point Fowler moved to the Dreamworld running shed
and was stripped for assessment, with a view to overhaul as a third
operating engine for their tourist railway (alongside the Perry and Baldwin
locos). Unfortunately, it was found there was too much wastage around the
boiler and replacement was required, at prohibitive cost.
16249 was relocated back to its original home at the Rocky Point Mill in
2002, still in stripped condition. Subsequent photos show the loco was restored
to a good standard at Rocky Point Mill, and apparently was placed there as
a static exhibit for some years. In that capacity it carried ‘Rocky Point’ nameplates
on the cabsides.
2013 the Rocky Point Fowler has been displayed within the grounds of the Beenleigh
Historical Village & Museum, not far from the Rocky Point Mill and
well cared for among the historic building and other artefacts there.
aside, the Rocky Point Fowler provides an interesting comparison to similar
Fowler locomotive ‘Wee Georgie Wood’
which is preserved in Tasmania.
photos on this page show various stages in the Rocky Point Fowler’s preservation
career and its different homes.